Luca Guadagino confirmed the follow up on the red carpet – some quick fire predictions about how the follow up will pan out
For Call Me By Your Name fans, there were three major highlights on Oscar night: James Ivory accepting Best Adapted Screenplay in a Timothée Chalamet shirt; Sufjan Stevens performing “Mystery of Love” with St Vincent and Moses Sumney; and director Luca Guadagnino confirming on the red carpet that a sequel will be going ahead. So in another La La Land/Moonlight mix-up, it turns out the real winner of Sunday wasn’t The Shape of Water, but us, the movie-going, Crema-loving audience.
“I’m already conceiving the story with André Aciman,” Guadagnino told USA TODAY, “and it’s gonna happen five or six years afterwards. It’s gonna be a new movie, a different tone.”
Some quick-fire speculation. The title won’t be Call Me By Your Name 2: Later or anything dumb like that. Or at least, I hope not. My guess is for Mystery of Love, Once More (I’ll explain later) or the name of whatever gets submitted to the Oscars for Best Original Song in 2021. I also anticipate a writing credit for David Kajganich, the scribe behind A Bigger Splash and the upcoming Suspiria remake.
As for a release date, Guadagnino is aiming for 2020, the year when Chalamet turns 25. Which means we’re potentially less than two years away from dissecting Armie Hammer’s Instagram Stories for plot spoilers. While we wait impatiently for the first trailer for a trailer to drop or whatever hellish marketing trend operates in the near-future, here’s a look at what could happen in the sequel. Remember, even if the magic can’t be recreated, at least the scheduling will hopefully prevent Chalamet from signing up to a superhero franchise.
ELIO WILL BE A BUFF MOVIE BUFF
“I think Elio will be a cinephile,” Guadagnino teased in January, “and I’d like him to be in a movie theatre watching Paul Vecchiali’s Once More. That could be the first scene.” Could the opening shot be of Elio blubbering in a callback to his “Visions of Gideon” moment? To be honest, Elio’s enriching lifestyle – great literature, soaking up Vitamin D, practising musical instruments – can’t last. Once you’re seduced by cinema, that’s it. Expect him to catch, possibly with Oliver, other 1988 LGBT releases like Derek Jarman’s The Last of England and Peter Saville’s The Fruit Machine.
THE TONE WILL BE DARKER AND AIDS WILL BE A MAJOR TOPIC
Though Aciman’s novel takes place in 1987, Guadagnino shifts the first film’s setting to 1983, just before Elio would have had a greater awareness of AIDS and HIV. So starting a sequel with Once More is significant: it was the first notable French movie to tackle the subject of AIDS. Bearing in mind that CMBYN is an anomaly for gay romances in how everything more or less works out for Elio and Oliver, the follow-up will likely be gloomier – especially as Guadagnino reckons the disease will be “a very relevant part of the story”.
ELIO WILL BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH MARZIA
It’s hard to say you’re Team Marzia without sounding inadvertently homophobic. That said, Marzia and Elio have an undeniable bond, not just through the latter losing his virginity to her in six pumps, but from their “friends for life” handshake. Realistically, if Oliver’s married and Tinder doesn’t exist yet, what’s stopping Elio from hooking up with her again? “I don’t believe Elio is necessarily going to become a gay man,” Guadagnino said in October. “He hasn’t found his place yet. I can tell you that I believe that he would start an intense relationship with Marzia again.” Plus, as someone sad and lonely enough to follow the cast on Instagram, I can confirm that Esther Garrel likes nearly every photo uploaded by Chalamet.
THE SOUNDTRACK WILL BE AMAZING
Guadagnino roped in St Vincent for A Bigger Splash, Sufjan Stevens for Call Me By Your Name and Thom Yorke for Suspiria. Who next? Could it be CMBYN super-fan Frank Ocean?
THERE WILL BE FLASHBACKS
We know that a four-hour cut of Call Me By Your Name exists, and yet the Blu-Ray release contains no deleted scenes. But let’s not rent three billboards outside Guadagnino’s house just yet. Instead, we could go with the assumption that he’s saving it up for flashbacks when Elio and Oliver reminisce about the good times. One sequence in the book involves Elio admiring Oliver’s faeces in their shared toilet, and then Oliver massaging Elio’s stomach so that another smelly layer is added. Actually, maybe flashbacks are a bad idea.
IT’LL BE AN AMERICAN HONEY-STYLE ROAD TRIP
“They’re gonna go around the world,” Guadagnino teased about the sequel. If so, could this involve an On the Road-type journey for Oliver and Elio in the States? I say this because in Aciman’s novel, the duo lose touch for 15 years until Elio turns up at a lecture hall to surprise the lecturer, who happens to be Oliver himself. “Let’s have a drink,” Oliver tells him. “I said a drink, not a fuck.” (This is from the book, not my fan-fiction.) In Aciman’s story, Elio later declines a meal with Oliver’s wife and children. In movie form, this could lead to Elio and Oliver hitting the road for a private adventure. Well, American Honey’s Shia Labeouf was originally slated to play Oliver.
THE WHOLE GANG WILL BE BACK
The main ensemble, Guadagnino promises, will return. So along with Elio, Oliver and Marzia, there’ll be at least a cameo from Annella Perlman, Mr. Perlman (and hopefully a first name), and the maid, Vafalda. I suspect we’ll also see Mounir and Isaac, the duo mocked by Elio, simply because they’re played by producer Peter Spears and Aciman himself. For this to happen, though, could there be some sort of wedding? And a dance floor with a DJ spinning Psychedelic Furs? It’s worth noting that the book ends with Oliver helping Elio to bury his father’s ashes.
IT WON’T ACTUALLY HAPPEN
Guadagnino toyed with the idea of a sequel to I Am Love focusing on Tilda Swinton’s character – and look how that turned out. Who knows, maybe being jetlagged on an awards campaign means you make promises you can’t actually keep? There could also be cold feet if the script, like many crushes, can’t live up to the head-rush of those first few flirtations. I mean, for my money, Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy steadily declines as it goes along. Still, with everything going on in the world, I already know that 2020 will be a terrible year and this is a film we’ll desperately need. Let’s hope it lives up to the years of hype it’s about to get.